When Your Will Isn't Enough: Do You Need Estate Planning?

Estate planning differs from drafting your will, although there are some overlaps. Your will is primarily concerned with the disbursement of your assets after your death, along with any conditions imposed upon this disbursement. Estate planning certainly deals with your assets, but it can be a more thorough means of preparing your affairs, both for after you have passed away and before this happens. 

Disability or Incapacitation

You don't want to leave any room for ambiguity, so it's wise to consult an estate planning lawyer to ensure that your wishes are in fact enforceable. If you become disabled or mentally incapacitated in your later years, you might not be in a position to offer the necessary clarity that changing a will requires. Planning for this possibility is a key factor of estate planning and is one of the ways in which it's different from planning your final will. What sort of things will be taken into consideration?

Your Burial or Cremation

Your will might only be deemed relevant after you have passed away and been buried. Your estate planning can conceivably cover your wishes in this matter since your family and friends would be horrified to discover that you, in fact, had a clear idea about this event after you have been buried or cremated in a manner that was not in line with your wishes. Any arrangements you've made to pay for this service (such as funeral insurance) should also be included so that these funds can be quickly and easily accessed when the time comes.

Instructions for Your Care

But before this, your estate planning should also cover any eventuality for your care should you no longer be in a position to make these decisions for yourself. You might wish to include instructions for your care and appoint a guardian to oversee this (who can be a trusted family member or friend). 

Your Dependent Children

Care for any dependent children will also need to be covered. You might still be alive and retain custody of your children, but the issue of guardianship will need to be addressed if you are ever no longer in a position to care for your children.

Your Business Interests

Any business interests will need to be accounted for, and this can include any businesses you might own and operate or investments. You will need to nominate a person (or persons) to transfer these interests to should you no longer be able to manage them. Your own remuneration from the ongoing operation of these business interests will need to be determined as part of your estate planning unless you opt for an outright transfer of these interests. 

Although your will is undeniably a vital document, you should not overlook the necessity for estate planning.

To learn more about estate planning, contact an estate planning lawyer in your area.